In 2013, Swazi transport operators and their union, the Swaziland Transport & Allied Workers Union scored a significant wage victory of 24.5 per cent pay-rise for road passenger service vehicles and 34 per cent pay-rise for bulk vehicle operators. …

swazi transport

In 2013, Swazi transport operators and their union, the Swaziland Transport & Allied Workers Union scored a significant wage victory of 24.5 per cent pay-rise for road passenger service vehicles and 34 per cent pay-rise for bulk vehicle operators. This was subsequently enacted into law by August 2013.

Disturbingly, to date employers from this sector are largely in violation of a number of provisions of the wages regulations order.

The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, the Labour and Social Security Ministry and the International Transport Workers’ Federation urged these employers to unconditionally comply with the regulations. This call was ignored. The Labour Commissioner’s office responded positively the union’s call for a compliance inspection, and its November 2013 provisional report indicated blatant violations of not only the wages order but also the Swaziland National Provident Fund order of 1974.

To date the situation remains unresolved and the transport companies are failing to comply.

STAWU Industrial Relations Officer Sticks Nkambule remarked,

‘’Consequences of such statutory violations comes at a great irreparable human cost, among other social ills. Transport workers are subjected to unacceptable working conditions and purposeful fatigue at alarming magnitudes. Some spend 15 hours or more on the roads. This subsists even to most organized Companies. We strongly condemn such, as it is not only statutory violations but it invariably amounts to responsibility failure on the part of employers too’’.

STAWU General Secretary Simanga Shongwe added, ‘

’a state of lawlessness cannot be tolerated any further. We shall be approaching the Courts to ensure full compliance to these statutory obligations, both road passenger and road freight transport associations have been advised of our decision.’’

Swaziland is a feudal dictatorship with no democracy. The trade union federation TUCOSWA has been banned.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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